Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Japan: China US Visit

The Japan Times

Hu's momentous U.S. visit

"The pomp and circumstance marking President Hu Jintao's arrival in Washington could define a dangerous moment in relations between the United States and China. Political hype and pressures could easily poison the atmosphere and prevent progress on the proliferation of business, economic and financial issues dividing the two countries, not to mention perilous questions like the nuclear threat from North Korea, nuclear proliferation generally and China's military buildup.

"Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's warned in an opinion article in both the New York Times and the Washington Post of the danger of a new "cold war" mentality. The fallout would be damage to both countries and to global security and economic well-being.

"The timing is not auspicious. President Barack Obama suffered a humiliating rebuff in the November congressional elections and Republican opponents are baying for his blood, seeking his ousting next year as their main agenda. It would be easy for Hu to perceive Obama as just as weak and vulnerable politically as the U.S. is economically sclerotic, and to block progress except for mealy-mouthed words of friendship in the communique."


"If Obama and Hu are to set the Sino-U.S. relationship on a new track, they need to make strong commitments to seek solutions for their bilateral disagreements that will promote greater global growth and harmony. And they have to do something about their body language to convince other leaders and themselves that they mean it. It will not be easy: Obama has a natural arrogance and Hu an aloofness that borders on a communist apparatchik's disdain for those who do not share his views."

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